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BDP Cluster FAQs

Where can I view the Town Hall from March 8th?

 Town Hall Recording:

Access Passcode: Clusters2021!

Cluster Timeline

  • December 2020: Internal announcement of cluster selection process
  • January 2021: Letter of Intent due
  • February 2021: Review of LOIs for full proposal invitation; Potential consolidation of some clusters
  • April 5, 2021: Proposals due, review & leadership selection
  • Late May 2021: Public announcement of clusters and celebration of BDP 50/BDP100

Submit proposals here:

BDP Clusters Proposal Submission Portal:

Proposals Due: April 5, 2021 at 5 PM

Please note that screening conversations with potential hires and departmental financial support letters are NOT required for proposal submission. If your cluster is selected, we will work with you on these tasks.

Can I merge with another cluster?

The deadline to merge clusters is Friday, March 12, 2021. Please email Reyn Boyer ( to alert our team of your decision.

Our Cluster was accepted, but we will not be submitting a proposal.

We understand, please email Reyn Boyer ( to confirm you are not moving forward.

Proposal review

Distinguished faculty will be recruited to thematic review panels to provide guidance on the selection. We expect an approximate 2:1 ratio of external to internal reviewers. Reviewers will provide recommendations to the President, Provost, deans and directors for a final selection of 5-7 clusters.

Divisional leadership will collaboratively construct financial, administrative, and operational commitments for each of the selected clusters.

Other investment opportunities will be identified for high-ranking proposals that are not selected and we anticipate holding another call for clusters in the next few years.

How many Clusters will be accepted? How many BDPs will be hired?

Of the 50 proposals moving forward, 5-7 clusters will be selected in 2021. Each cluster will aim to hire 3-6 BDPs, based on but not limited to the number of targeted hires identified in the full proposal. We anticipate another call for clusters in 2022 or 2023.

Can BDPs be hired at the Associate Professor level? Tenure requirements?

Yes, talent is often found at the associate level and we encourage recruitment at this level. We have recruited a few associate-level BDPs to date and they are stellar members of the cohort. This is permitted in all schools except the School of Medicine.

Please note that professors must secure a tenured position. The School of Education and Berman Institute of Bioethics do not offer tenured positions; therefore, a BDP’s joint appointment must be in a tenured department.

Can BDPs be recruited internally?

Yes, BDPs can be recruited internally. Please limit internal nominations to one per cluster.

Can hiring occur outside of Academia?

Yes, recruitment can come from all employment sectors and indeed we have hired BDPs from outside academia (e.g. Dr. Otis Brawley). Please be conscious of the requirements for tenure when considering these nominations.

BDP Interdisciplinary Appointments

BDPs are granted joint appointments in two or more different divisions/schools. In addition to the divisions and schools located here, BDPs can also be appointed to other Hopkins units (e.g. Berman Institute of Bioethics, Agora Institute). Interdivisional appointments can be flexible (80% appointment in Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, 20% appointment in Applied Physics Lab; 50% appointment in School of Education and 50% appointment in School of Nursing) to accommodate departmental resources and/or academic considerations.

While we do allow the occasional intradivisional appointment, the appointment must be held in two distinct fields of study under that division. To remain true to our BDP mission, we ask that clusters not exceed 1-2 intradivisional appointments.

Junior faculty appointments within BDP clusters are not required to hold inter/intra divisional appointments. All junior faculty appointments will be handled directly by the relevant division/school/department.

Cost-sharing of BDP hires

The BDP Clusters will be a cost-sharing initiative between the BDP 100 gift from Michael Bloomberg and the divisions/schools of the BDP appointment.

Shared Costs

BDP Start-up Funding: Aims to be 50/50 Cost Share

  • BDP program startup contribution of $1.8M per BDP (average)
  • Includes start-up funding, supplies, administrative support, student support, signing bonus, moving allowance, etc.

BDP Salary: Cost Share Varies

  • BDP Salary Endowment pays $170K per year toward the divisions’ commitments in perpetuity with a marginal annual increase

Cluster Support: Cost Share Varies

  • Collaboration funds: $70K per cluster per year (Provided by BDP program)
  • Administrative support (e.g. shared coordinator, GCA)

Core Equipment/Services: 50/50 Cost Share

  • Core Matching Fund: BDP program a dedicated matching fund of $1.3M per year for core equipment, which is not limited to cluster research areas

Divisional Costs

  • Long-term BDP and cluster space costs
  • New junior faculty lines and associated start-up
  • Expansion and support of affiliated PhD programs

Preparing justification for BDP recruitments

It may prove challenging to know exactly what resources BDP recruits will require without having screening conversations. However, screening conversations will occur once selected proposals are accepted. We recommend that you research prospective BDPs’ research group websites to determine your best estimate of needed faculty, staff, students, equipment, space, etc.

Hiring and Beyond

The BDP recruitment process is not limited to a one-size-fits-all package. The BDP team will work with your cluster and involved departments to create flexible start-up packages that meet the needs of all relevant parties. This is including, but not limited to, salary, space, staff/faculty (administrative/research staff, junior faculty, graduate and postdoctoral students, etc.), equipment, renovations, moving costs, etc.

Further Questions?

Contact Reyn Boyer at

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    Vice Provost for Research

    265 Garland Hall
    3400 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21218

    (443) 927-1957

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